“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19) God is no slacker and can be counted on 100 percent of the time. He wants His children to be imitators of Him, according to Ephesians 5:1. He set up the principles of sowing and reaping and the law of giving and receiving extends to diligence and conscientiousness in one's work. Many Proverbs commend diligence, and bring to light the results of laziness.
Proverbs 21:5 teaches that “the plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Planning includes thinking, praying and preparing. In contrast, someone who doesn'tt take the time to think things throug, or adequately prepare, wastes time and effort. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”.
The lazy person wants, but is not willing to put forth the effort required to accomplish something. The hard-working person finishes what he starts and moves on to the next project. Proverbs 24:27 instructs to “Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house.” The Amplified Bible starts with the words “Put first things first&rdquo and the New Living Translation renders this verse, “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.” Prioritize, plan, prepare. These basic principles are applied by many who are not Christians, but Christians have the distinct advantage of having God with them, and His Holy Spirit to assist them.
Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.” One must know what they have and take good care of it. It is also important to be aware of what is going on around them, know what needs to be done, and how to do it. If knowledge of how to do something is deficient, it is wise to pursue learning from someone who has experience. Self-reliance is wonderful, but the combined know-how of the community of believers is vastly better. When times are challenging, Christians should be the first ones to step forward to help others, especially fellow believers. Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Proverbs 6:6-8 is an example of how the observant person can learn lessons from nature. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Ants are little bugs with built-in job assignments. Build nest. Gather food. They automatically do what needs to be done, with no one telling them what to do or when. The lesson for the believer is self-discipline. Do what needs to be done before it needs to be done.
Proverbs 24:30-32 also encourages the believer to learn by observation. “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction.” Ecclesiastes 10:18 explains that “because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.”
God never called out lazy people to do His divine assignments. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all herdsmen, Moses and David were shepherds, Elisha was plowing, and Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. Even Jesus had an occupation. Those who assertively take action are the ones who will flourish. Planning, prioritizing, preparation, persistence and prayer promises prosperity.